Ski France

Chamonix Resort Reviews

Ski France

Chamonix Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Chamonix Ski Resort

Chamonix Ratings

Overall: 4.0. Based on 44 votes and 86 reviews. Vote

Access: 4.5

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Chamonix.

Public Transport: 4.1

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Chamonix, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Scenery: 4.7

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Accommodation: 4.6

(1) No places to stay in/near Chamonix, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.9

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 4.6

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Chamonix.

Ski in/Ski out: 3.2

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 3.9

(1) There are no child care facilities at Chamonix, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowsure: 4.0

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Chamonix is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Snowmaking: 3.3

(1) Chamonix relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 3.8

(1) There are no snow groomers at Chamonix, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Chamonix are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.3

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Chamonix is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 3.9

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Chamonix, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 4.0

(1) Chamonix usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 3.8

(1) The staff at Chamonix are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Chamonix are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.2

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 4.3

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.7

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Variety of pistes: 4.5

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Chamonix has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Beginners: 3.1

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 4.0

(1) No intermediate terrain at Chamonix, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.7

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 3.3

(1) Not even a kicker at Chamonix, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Off-piste: 4.8

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Cross-country: 3.7

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Chamonix, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 3.0

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Chamonix has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 3.4

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 4.5

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 4.4

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 4.6

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 4.5

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 4.2

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 3.6

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 3.6

(1) Overall, Chamonix is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 3.7

(1) Overall, Chamonix is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

October 19, 2012
from Ski United States United States
I agree with another reviewer. The problem with Chamonix is the ubiquitous know-it-all Brit and their attitdes. It's like the greedy New Yorker where I live. They can't comprehend that the place and people where they are visiting is different from the wicked city where they come from. That's why I like Chamonix in the off season. [note from the editor: names of other reviewers etc are omitted]
January 26, 2007
from Ski Sweden Sweden
I have been to Chamonix four times, and I must say it is, by far, the most complex ski resort there is in Europe. The different areas provides extremely good possibilities for the intermediate and advanced skier. However, Chamonix is not the place to go to if you are a beginner. In two weeks I will visit Chamonix for the fifth time and I am, needless to say, really looking forward to it...
March 17, 2008
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Visited Chamonix March 2008, and I really don't know what all the fuss is about. Horrible, dull looking town, have to drive to all the lift stations, queues everywhere, no fun apres-ski, no chocolate box atmosphere or lovely looking hotels like in Austria, and hardly any mountain restaurants, but a good view of Mont Blanc, naturally. Weather was crap, no snow to ski back to the town, let alone have the luxury of skiing back to your hotel. Lift system: diabolical, 2 hour queues just to get back DOWN the mountain at the end of the day at Brevent/Flegere and at £195 for a weeks lift pass that is disgusting value. Only saving grace was my fabulous luxury hotel, the Hameau Albert 1er - wonderful and would go back just to spend a weekend there. Have to say.... did the Valle Blanche - a wonderful experience, but the skiing, ambiance, service, facilities and level of friendliness is not a patch on the many many years I have skied in Austria and loved it. Sorry Chamonix lovers - but this place is HUGELY over-rated and run down me thinks.... and I certainly wouldn't take my children.
September 09, 2014
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I love Chamonix; I hate it in equal measure. I've been there in summer and winter and had great times and truly terrible times there. I'd consider myself a solid off-piste skier with many powder trips under my belt. But I'd still say that without a guide, I'd be really cautious of taking on some of Cham's powder as the danger factor is ramped up on the heavily crevassed glaciers and risk from seracs above. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough or didn't have the right inside knowledge but I struggled to find good stuff in what I'd call a reasonable distance from the lifts. As I said, get a guide who will presumably open it all up for you. You've only got to have one timid off-pister in the group to make the powder off limits without splitting up. Most of us can't afford a guide for the whole week. So while we all talk a good powder game, I'd say for most of us, to get a good shot at enjoying powder on your one week away I'd go elsewhere. Controversial I know! For a long weekend, the pistes are fine with plenty of variety around the valley. For a week, you really do need to get off-piste so without a guide or a seriously blinkered view of your own mortality you're going to be struggling. Chamonix, like any mountain centre, is at the mercy of the weather and Mont Blanc does seem to create a bit of a micro-climate. So you may find the powder lines you've researched all autumn are totally out of scope when you get there. Be flexible and prepare to get in your car and try elsewhere. The town itself is good fun with something for everyone. Want posh? It can out-posh the Beckhams. You want grungy? No problem, Cham can go cheap and dirty as you like. As others have said, it benefits from the authenticity of being a proper town, even though the whole town is geared around tourism. My advice? Give Chamonix a go, maybe for a long weekend at first. Just don't expect it to scratch all your powder itches without serious investment in guides and a touch of good luck with the weather.
March 18, 2008
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We went to Chamonix for 2 weeks from 1st March 08. Residence La Ginabelle had a tiny wee room for 4 grown people, no bath, towels changed only once a week, never had a mop, only afternoon sauna and steam room use, and a massive tax on the last day, but workers were friendly. The weather was crap, first and last day sunny. Sometimes huge white outs on slopes so you can't see a thing, like 2nd day in Flegere. Nightlife is zero but liked La Teracce, lost 40EUR in 20mins in casino, got drunk for a fortune in La Garage night club and once spent 90Eur in a Thai restaurant. Most of the nights we stayed in feeling like high school. Although we took £2500, no money is enough here, so you better play poker with your friends. My boyfriend (after swapping boards with his pal) and three others went up to do Aiguille De Midi. After walk of death, he got separated, got lost, nearly fell in a crevasse, where he just lost his board and water. Then he walked for 2-3hours on Mer De Glace and "slept" in an ice cave all night. We were looking for him with the help of brilliant French rescue guys who went out in the dark risking their own lives, then in the morning with helicopters. I hope you enjoyed the wines! The best thing in my life was the phone call at 11am from the hotel that my luckiest boy in the world is there without a scratch. Chamonix, never again!
November 25, 2008
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
It seems from reading the reviews here it is a bit 50/50 on what Cham is like! I have worked here and been probably 20 times or so since- why? Because the skiing is about as good as it comes. Yes, the place is not ski in/ ski out and there can be queues - but most of that is secondary to the awesome skiing you can get. To be honest I have been a lot, and queuing only really takes place at peak times- i.e. during Feb, so just avoid it then- you would queue anywhere at that time. I cannot believe that people are complaining about the weather- for gods sake this is the mountains!! Basically to summarise a lot of this - if you are serious about your skiing and are up at the crack of dawn to get the best of the snow then Chamonix is for you. I have been to many places and this beats anything hands down. If you are an intermediate, who wants to get up late, waddle to the lift and complains about the lack of sun - you should probably be in Soll or Bulgaria or somewhere like that. As for nightlife, Chamonix is a 'working' French town and there are loads of bars and restaurants, you just might need to look off the main street for the good ones- same for prices- eat/drink on the main drag and it's expensive. Think about i - the French eat out a lot, do you think they pay the prices on the main street?? It does have Michelin stared restaurants as well. Lift system - some old some new - the better (harder) areas I have never had a problem with. For example the Herse charlift on Grand Montets- 6 man detachable chairlift - I have never queued for this, ever, and it has the best bumps to play on! They are investing a lot in the system- New Brevent life in Dec 08 for example. Chamonix has something for everyone - but if you are a 'lazy' tourist and expect everything on your doorstep and everyone to speak English then try somewhere else! If you love the mountains- there is nowhere better.
November 03, 2012
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I read a lot of the reviews here with bemusement. Chamonix is Chamonix "full stop". It is unique, beautiful, sometimes infuriating but hit it on the right day and it will give you moments, or longer, of the reason we go to the mountains: Freedom and experiences that can never be equalled. It is, without doubt, a wild place. Go up high for a while and, whatever your level of experience, enjoy as the saying goes "how can you ever know the valleys if you have not been in the mountains". Cham for me is the best!
March 06, 2009
from Ski South Africa South Africa
The real issue here at Chamonix is the same as in the Med:too many lager louts misbehaving, drinking, urinating and vomiting. The town is fun otherwise; friendly restaurants and not too pricey. Slopes are pretty but the area is small. Would recommend Megeve as it is not busy.
June 05, 2010
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I've done three seasons in Cham (Chamonix) and have snowboarded all over Europe and Canada. In my time in Chamonix, I've seen the best and worst it has to offer. Here's the deal. When it goes well, Chamonix can be a great place. The mountains are huge, and steep, varied and beautiful. You're free to roam and stomp in ways most European resorts can't offer. That's providing you are a very good standard skier or boarder who likes hardcore alpine stuff and are prepared to put up with pretty rubbish ski buses, long queues and London rush hour standard travel (the town is in a valley and you can't walk to any of the pistes). When it goes badly, which it can very easily, it is a very bad place to be. Firstly - and people don't talk about this - there's a lot of theft in the town and on the mountain. I've seen a lot of people lose their boards and skis and, worse, luggage. Holiday accommodation is targeted by thieves and some unlucky people have even had their luggage stolen within minutes of arriving. It gets worse because the police do not speak English. The attitude is: you're in France, so speak our language. This also goes for if you've been the victim of a violent crime. Be prepared to pay for an interpreter, who you will have to find and pay for yourself. If you drive an English car, don't be surprised if it gets vandalised or broken into. If you're not French, be prepared to be a second class citizen. Your money is wanted, but you will only be barely tolerated. Put simply, Chamonix has always had a rough reputation (justifiably) and is a proper town. So don't expect a pure cute alpine village designed to cater exclusively for foreign holidaymakers. And just hope you don't get unlucky.
March 18, 2008
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Had to respond to the pretty negative comments about Chamonix. As beginner skiers, we found Chamonix a really good place to ski. The ESF ski school and the beginner slopes were fantastic (le Tours, Les Planards etc). We did not queue very long for any of the lifts, but I do agree with the comment that the European children do not have any manners on the slopes (whizz past at high speed with no consideration for the beginners) or when queuing for the lifts - they just queue jump all of the time! The ski buses were regular (albeit packed) and took people to a variety of slopes, depending of your level and where you wanted to ski. This was a free service for all guests staying in the town. Our weather was superb - snowing some days, or gorgeous sunshine up on the mountains. The pistes were in good condition throughout out stay. I did not find the prices extortionate - in fact, I thought it was going to be more expensive. We had a good lunch, with drinks for approximately £10 - £15 for 2 in the mountain cafe/bar. The town is larger than I expected, but this meant there was a good variety of restaurants, bars and shops - I liked & preferred this to a small limited village. Overall, we were very happy here, so much so, we have booked another ski holiday here in January, and will try another resort in March 09. I may not have had years of experience skiing, trying different slopes or countries, but the initial impression of Chamonix was that it created a perfect ski holiday for 2 beginners.